Looking for a particular book
January 13, 2013 3:14 PM   Subscribe

It's an old book yet famous at the time, maybe 17th to early 19th century, that deals with debunking myths, superstitions and the like. It was probably one of the earliest such books, at least one written with the Enlightenment mindset. I think. Author's last name may perhaps begin with B. Had stuff in it about how beavers don't bite off their testicles and that [insert group you dislike] do not actually smell. I know this is vague, but that's all I can remember unfortunately.
posted by Pyrogenesis to Education (6 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646), by Thomas Browne?
posted by pont at 3:32 PM on January 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Awesome! And in 15 minutes? Metafilter remains awsomest.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:57 PM on January 13, 2013

There's also "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", from 1841, written by Mackay.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:29 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Extraordinary Popular Delusions, etc. as immensely worthwhile. Since Chocolate Pickle beat me to firsting it.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:19 PM on January 13, 2013

Cool, thanks. For particular reasons I was looking for as old texts as possible, but this will come in handy as well.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:33 AM on January 14, 2013

Both Pseudodoxia Epidemica and Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds are available online for free, too!

PE is here in HTML form.

MoEPDaTMoC by Mackay, in various ebook formats and HTML as well, via the Gutenberg Project.
posted by misha at 7:38 PM on January 14, 2013

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